Erin (The Pixel Party): Hello Everyone, I’m Erin.
James (Super Pizza Bros): And I am James!
Erin: We are at Super Pizza Bros., the video game-themed pizza place located here in Phoenix, AZ, just off of Northern near the I-17. I am just going to ask you a few questions about your really cool establishment.
James: …and I am going to answer some questions about my really cool establishment!
Erin: Awesome! So, first question. When did you first open Super Pizza Bros?
James: We opened in the beginning of February, so not very long ago.
Erin: Oh wow! Not that long ago at all. Has it been successful?
James: So far, it really has. It turns out there are a lot of people that like pizza and video games.
Erin: Ya, it seems that Phoenix is a good place for that. There is a good community here.
James: Definitely, and we’ve met a lot of them, and everyone seems to want to bring their friends, which, works for us.
Erin: That’s awesome! Good word-of-mouth! So, what was the inspiration behind opening this sort-of video game/pizza restaurant hybrid?
James: Well, I put myself in the mindset of a 9-year old, and I said, “If I had a piece of paper and a crayon and somebody asked me to draw my dream pizza place, it would probably have pizza and video games.” It would probably be a bit bigger, and there would probably be a bit more video games, but, it would be pizza and video games. So, I ran the idea by my brother, the other half of the Super Pizza Bros., and he loved it, and we just kind of rolled with it. The more we looked into it and the more we started to get the ball rolling, the more ideas we had and the more creative opportunities there were to kind of embrace that. So, it’s worked out really well. Everything from the walls to the systems to the ceilings was pretty easy to convert to a video game theme.
Erin: Besides the obvious video game theme, what are some other things you’ve done to make Super Pizza Bros. unique?
James: Well, my brother has a lot of his own sauces that he’s always in there (the kitchen) working on. In fact, our most popular sauces aren’t the traditional hot, buffalo or bbq, it’s the ones he’s come up with like his garlic buffalo recipe or the sweet heat bbq recipe. We’ve also got some fun pizza combinations like The Boss Battle which is an entire 16″ pizza crust, but half of it is made up of four 1-topping slices and the other half is made up of my brother’s cheesy garlic bread recipe which is garlic-awesomeness in food form.
We are always coming up with new specials and themed items for whatever might be going on at the time. Like, we had a Captain America shield pizza when Captain America came out. It was a pizza that looked like his shield. We also had Star Wars specials for Star Wars day. There is always something new and exciting to celebrate and something fun to come up with and get ideas for and you know, luckily, we have the creative room to kind of bring in those things when we need them and play around with it.
Erin: So what is your personal background?
James: Well, full-time I work as the QA director of a technology incubator here in Tempe, and my brother, up until recently, had been running a McDonald’s. Because I like pizza and video games, and he was tired of having to, you know, live up the corporate lifestyle of a McDonald’s restaurant, the opportunity came along and we thought, “You never know if you can fly if you don’t leave the nest.” So far, we’re flying pretty well! He’s doing a great job of running the kitchen, he’s got a lot more creative room, and I’m able to come in and throw ideas around and have them literally stick to the wall. That’s been really nice. So, his background is, he can cook, and my background is, I like to eat!
Erin: Alright, if you had an unlimited budget, what are some things we might see at Super Pizza Bros.?
James: A space station. Orbiting the planet and just dropping capsules full of pizza and video games every 20 minutes or so. If i have a realistically large budget, I’d love to have multiple locations. We’ve got a pretty big crowd around this part of town, but obviously you’ve got Tempe and Scottsdale, and we’ve been really blessed in that a lot of people are more than willing to travel for something unique and that’s been a big help.
It would be cool to have multiple video games at every single table at multiple locations and I think that as we continue to grow, it’s going to be less of a, “How do we turn this into a bigger money maker?” and more of a, “How do we get more games in here?! How do we add more arcade machines? How do we make it more fun?” because that’s my goal. I’ve got an entire wishlist of games I want to bring in and every time I cross one off, I add two more.
Erin: Well, we as your fans love that you are doing that!
Erin: What is your personal favorite item on your menu?
James: Wow…. Well, the garlic buffalo wings are my current favorite, like, that’s what I keep eating this week. My brother just finalized that sauce and it’s really good. When I bring my fiance, and we just want to have dinner– pizza. Boss Battle. You get the cheesy bread, you get the slices. It feeds two people, it’s a good deal and it tastes great! Now and then I’ll mix it up with some sides or I’ll get the Sweet Heat Chicken Pizza or I’ll get the Sweet Heat wings instead of the Garlic Buffalo wings. What’s great is I love pizza so much that even eating it every day, I’m not tired of it yet! So, that’s good in a way, because it challenges us to keep coming up with new things and to keep refreshing the things we have. So ya, I would say the boneless wings are definitely my favorite.
Erin: Kind of on that same note, do you have any new recipes on the immediate horizon?
James: Well, we are always working on new wing sauces, and even on our menu it says, “Ask us about beta testing our new sauces!” because my brother is always back there playing with things. It always takes a pretty solid recipe to add it to the menu, but he has some things that are pretty close that he’s always playing around with and we encourage people to ask about it because you just never know what might be there.
He’s got a Hot Chocolate wing that actually uses hot chocolate and sriracha and a few other things. That works really well on boneless wings and it’s awesome on fries. He’s also got a Honey Mustard Buffalo that he’s working on which he calls, “Bumblebee Sauce,” and then it’s called, “Beesting Sauce,” for the Spice Honey Mustard Buffalo wings, and those are both good. We are always trying out new combinations of stuff for the pizzas and with each major “Geek” release we seem to be tying things into it, so I’m sure there will be a “Ninja Turtles Pizza,” or an, “X-Men Pizza,” and certainly a “Guardians of the Galaxy Pizza,” because that’s my favorite. My brother is all about Captain America, but give me the Guardians any day!
Erin: Yes! I’m excited about that coming out. Was there anything else you wanted to mention about Super Pizza Bros.?
James: I think we’ve got it pretty much covered. It boils down to pizza and video games, and once you have both of those things, what else do you need? We’ve been really lucky in that there is a lot of organic word-of-mouth marketing and everyone seems to want to bring a friend and everybody wants to show it off to the people they know and that’s huge for us! We’ve been really lucky in that people not only really like it, but they embrace it and they champion it, and it’s been really good. I think our next step is that we will be out at Phoenix Comicon handing out coupons and flyers to try and make an impact, because, you know, that’s our demographic. Those are our people, and we just want to get the word out.
Erin: Well, I look forward to seeing you at Phoenix Comicon! We will be walking around too, so we’ll be sure to look for your coupons! 😉
James: I’ll be dressed up as the guy who owns a pizza restaurant!
Erin: Haha, well, I’ll keep my eye out for that! Thank you again for letting me come in and interview you and take some photos. It’s been great talking to you, and we’ll be back for dinner!
James: Thank you! We’ll see you soon!